Nursing Assistant Inspired By Patients' Recovery

Khadine Thomas

Nursing Assistant,
NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island

My Role: I provide patient care by taking blood pressure, feeding patients, making their beds and giving them baths. I work with registered nurses to make sure our patients are comfortable.

I love taking care of people and seeing them get well. That's my passion. When the pandemic began, I was anxious and concerned for my well-being. It wasn't easy at first, but as a health care worker you know what you got into. I took deep breaths, I put on my mask and I took care of patients. As time went on, I calmed down and relaxed.

Seeing Patients Recover: I'm focused on caring for my patients, and seeing them recover makes me happy. I had a COVID-19 patient who was ventilated, and I greeted him every day as I do for everyone. I would say, "Good morning, my name is Khadine and I'm here to take your blood pressure." I would always explain to him what I was doing. I would even ask him if he enjoyed his evening. I did this for days, until he eventually woke up. He didn't remember me, but that's ok. He was smiling and eating again.

I helped him out of his bed, and transferred him to a chair to help him build strength. He was kind of weak, so we moved slowly. It made me so excited to see that. When you see a patient come back from being so ill, it makes you feel better.

Care After the Surge: I'm still taking care of my patients the best way I know how. They tell me thank you very much, and call me their hero. I hear "God bless you" and give them a smile back, although they probably couldn't see under my mask.

Everyone of my patients made me think about life, especially those in distress. They still touch my heart everyday, and I know many are getting better and better.

Why I'm on the Frontlines: I'm a healer, so I always knew I would be on the frontlines. I was there since day one, and didn't call out one day. I'm still here. I will do what I have to do, through anything.

It's also important to be here for my team. We motivate one another while caring for patients. I love what I do, and do it with a smile.

I'm studying to be a registered nurse, and I'm thinking 2022 will be the year I succeed. Just the thought of it makes me happy. I know I'm going to cry tears of joy when that goal is reached.